Ranking U.S. States with the Best Internet Value
Over the years, access to the internet has grown extensively. However, the speed and affordability of internet services can significantly differ from one region to another, both globally and domestically within the United States.
Surfshark has created an engaging data visualization that showcases the states with the best and worst internet value, based on the data compiled for their 2022 Internet Value Index.
What criteria should be used to determine the “best” internet value?
Surfshark has come up with the Internet Value Index that evaluates U.S. states on the basis of broadband and mobile internet. The index considers the balance between speed and affordability, where speed refers to the rate of data transfer and affordability refers to the cost of internet services.
- Internet Speed: The average download speeds between Q3 of 2021 and Q2 of 2022.
- Internet Affordability: The average monthly price of a standard internet or data package divided by the average hourly net wage in each state.
The index value of each state is determined by dividing the speed by the affordability of both broadband and mobile internet. This is then normalized over the maximum value of 1.0.
Which States Have the Best Internet Value?
According to Surfshark’s recent study, there are significant differences in internet access between rural and urban states, emphasizing the digital divide in the United States. Surfshark has compiled a comprehensive list of internet index rankings for all 50 U.S. states in 2022.
|State||Internet Value Rank||Broadband Value Rank||Mobile Value Rank||Region|
According to recent data, the states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York offer the best value for internet services. With fixed broadband speeds exceeding 37 Mbps per hour of work at the average net state wage and mobile speeds of 5 Mbps or higher, workers in these states can enjoy reliable and fast internet services.
Mississippi, Wyoming, and Arkansas are at the opposite end of the index when it comes to value services. These states offer some of the lowest quality services with workers receiving download speeds of 16 Mbps or less per hour of work for broadband, and mobile speeds of 2 Mbps or lower, according to the same ratio.
The Northeast seems to be leading the pack with five of the top 10 states, while the West and South are lagging behind with eight of the bottom 10 states. The contrast in regional performance is quite apparent.
It’s worth noting that despite being the second-best region for internet value, the Midwest still falls below the national average. This underscores the fact that wealthier and more densely populated states continue to enjoy a disproportionate share of the value generated by the internet, leaving others behind.
Internet For All?
The economic impact of internet affordability, or the lack thereof, is becoming increasingly apparent in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a recent study by the IMF, high-speed internet has become an essential factor for socioeconomic inclusion, enabling individuals to access work opportunities, education, and various services.
With the increasing number of remote work and study setups, having access to affordable and high-quality internet has become even more essential. This is because workplaces and schools now rely heavily on online communication and collaboration tools, making a stable internet connection crucial for productivity and success.
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